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Posts Tagged ‘map’

Your orbit may find you

in an unending cycle of hiding

and showing up across the sky.

Like a shepherd tethered

to your protection I slip

a chance and probe the map

where you lay all your secrets.

 

The night clouds veil

a silhouette of gloom

while wind chills my heart

and waits until the waning light

travels the length of this room.

Leaving a trace of dewdrops

glistening of little stars

to my skin aching and wanting.

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His muffled voice breaks

the long stretches of silence

while his hand guided

young and untrained hands

practicing calligraphy.

 

Watchful and demanding precision

of copied texts exacting translation.

As he unbuckles the leathery tome

of secrets in a wooden chest.

Tradition, theology and religion.

Diaries, recipes, scientific notations.

 

Inventories, census, receipts.

Readings of narratives and poetry,

astrology, proverbs and magic spells.

The volumes of letters, last wills,

songs and words of blessings.

 

Spending hours and hours sitting

among the piles of pages digging

for clues and answers to mysteries.

The labyrinth of a culture. A treasure.

Each of the fragile pages a wealth

weightier than silver and the gold.

 

Piecing each fragment in a mosaic

mapping an ancient civilization

long forgotten. He believed, it was

here  in his hands lies the fiber, sinew

and muscle of generations of man-

the society is ought to remember.

 

So he became a warrior, obsessed

with the written word wielding

weapons of passion and wisdom.

With his small army of juvenile scholars

continuing an unpopular legacy.

 

Waging the classic battle against time,

earth bugs, heat, rot and decay

slowly finding its way like marauders

pillaging the essence of our humanity

into oblivion and brink of extinction.

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His face is a map of caravan years,

weathering the desert sun and

the seasonal flood by the riverbank

which brings in salt for a modest living.

 

As the sand windblown and collected

in the seams of his linen turban,

anxiety constantly snake through

the mazes of his troubled mind.

 

He needed money.

 

Like how the puff of smokes

from his cigarette escapes

are fragments of his ancestor’s past

excavated from walls of antiquity.

 

He is mulling to leave the landscape

of ancient ruins, the mud-dried bricks

and clayed houses and desert wilderness

for the glowing lights of the city.

 

The mosque signals the call to prayer

and he sat down on his cushion

unfurling a sheaf of parchment,

reading through his mangled glasses

 

the fragile scribbling of faded ink.

On its brittle yellowing pages appears

like gold. This manuscript he wants to sell

to tourists he is waiting to pass by.

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Musically Challenged

I have always wanted to learn how to play the piano.  It is one of the things in my bucket list that I am compelled to do, fulfilling the goals I have set several years ago, but so elusive that I never found the proper time and place to learn it.  Even if I tried planning to pursue a piano class, it was set aside due to my regular work schedules.  A couple of musician and keyboardist friends tried to convince me to study piano and even told me that they can pitch in to teach me, but I was left waiting and wondering when will be the time they had the energy to do so.

It is a good thing that out of their kindness, they promised.  But that is enough already, and it has led me to nothing.  I have progressed to nothing when it comes to learning piano.  And for now, the eagerness and my determination to learn how to play the piano grew stronger and stronger everyday.  I am so excited imagining how many piano pieces I could be able to play, leisurely at ease.  Of symphonies, orchestra pieces, musical pieces, overtures, preludes and many more waiting there for me to explore.  A daunting challenge for me to know musicology.  I am not contented of merely being purely vocal.  I have an inner need to express more my musicality even further, realizing the inner melodies I have kept humming throughout all these years.

Some maybe surprised to know that I have the ability to compose songs of my own, while riding a cab or a bus.  I am getting inspirations straight from the vibratory rhythms of the car wheels and infusion of surrounding background noises from the street.  The melodies are still fresh on my mind, even if it was long, long time ago, since its very inception. A germination of the musical idea derived through the exploration of our senses.

They say, when a song has been born out from you through your everyday experiences and you still remember them, they are meant to be revealed, creatively shared and exposed for public enjoyment.  Artists had their unique lifestyle – a life of producing and honing their art for expression.  They have also a need for expressing their sublime thoughts, may it be in the form of music, visual art or creative writing.

I don’t believe, when somebody says that a person has a gift for so and so.  In my personal opinion, art can be learned. Talents can be  nurtured gradually through the influences in the environment, or  an individual’s ingrained perceptiveness to their environment and a by-product, or a consequence of an individual’s current life situations, circumstances and past influences. 

I also don’t believe in the notion that one has to spend a considerable amount of time in actually learning an art. Although it might have some merits. The length of time is not a measure how one can evolve eligibly to be called an artist.  Everyone, no matter what their ages may be, have the chance to become artists of their own right, for as long as they have the determination to decode their abilities to express themselves through art. There is no doubt that they will eventually succeed.

Artists are governed by the inner satisfaction they get while genuinely expressing their thoughts through their art.  Artists are governed by the truthfulness of their artistic expression sans the dictates of the prevailing trends,  norm or standards.  Having said that,  most of the celebrated pseudo-artists are merely egotistically bloated and widely publicized musical figures, just for the sake of personal advertisement and cheap breed of entertainment for profit.

True artists of our time are the ones who are hiding away from the spotlight and have chosen to disassociate themselves from the commercialization of the art. True artists, therefore, are the ones who are sticking their hands to the originality and authenticity of their artistic output. In one way or the other, they  might find themselves in the future, being hailed as originators of a new art movement,  a paradigm shift to the art scene.

So, don’t be surprised. I actually mapped it out, this time. I have listed down the things that I will do when I  have learned how to play the piano. Possibilities are endless.  I might have a new song for the choir to sing.  I might have a new song that I can play when celebrating an occasion, and the need for some light music arises.  I might have a recital to be witnessed in a concert hall by a selected few.  The grandest of these plans, might be penning an opera or a musical play to the likes of Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Chess etc.

These lingering thoughts, get me so excited as I imagine my fingers traversing piano keys and weaving some beautiful melodies.  It is a fulfillment that I think, would go beyond compare and can possibly exceed my limitations. It is a lifelong dream, bordering reality.  Soon,  and positively achievable.

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Seldom will I ever had the chance to talk to a beautiful mind.  Seldom will somebody can really connect you to something that stimulates your senses and make you stop and listen to what he or she might be saying.  These are special times and quite a rarity.

In a conversation to a new acquaintance, I am having a hard time cracking myself open and start a little chatter about something that of little importance.  I am so shy, unless there is something in this person that lightens up and usher me to strike a line, a joke, just to break the ice.

Something that tickles an interest. I must confess, making yourself interesting is hard, but it is a lot harder to be genuinely interested to somebody who is opening up to you for the very first time.

And I met this beautiful mind in a far-fetched place  somewhere in Fujairah.  He is a Syrian. His name is Wajdi. A simple man. No pretensions, contented of who he is. And though his present status would allow him to choose his friends meticulously, he would rather not. No prejudices of whatsoever. And I must say that he have this.  A beautiful mind.

When I visited Ann and there he was, interestingly fragile, is aloof at first. If not for Ann and Beth (Ann’s friend), the connection might have been lost somewhere. And how in the world that an Orthodox would comfortably mingle with a bunch of Filipinos like us.  I believe there would be some cultural clashes in between.

But wait, he doesn’t look like an intruder. He looks like a lamb who is not fond of complaining and whining about his life’s travails. When he talks about his country and his way of life, he can vividly describe it in words. It’s such a wonder  to imagine that you are seeing it first-hand in your mind like a map.  I never had imagined how he eloped some of the traps I have made during our conversations. This I intentionally do, just for the purpose of cutting short a probable senseless chatter, if the case maybe.

But amazingly, he would come up with a fresh perspective on a topic, and he can keep up with the task to make the conversation flowing and interesting. Then unknowingly, the hours would stretch longer due to the countless exchanges of  opinions and anecdotes.

Wajdi is not your ordinary guy. He is someone, who never eats red meat, shuns too much eating especially rice. He would just be contented of his Arabic bread with some unknown herbs on it. Though, in between his stories of childhood, it was quite clear to me that he is  used to this eating pattern. One time, I sarcastically told him, that he might end up as tasteless to me if I would be a lycan or a monster ready to devour him. And he would just smile innocently.

And on my last day in Fujairah, I told him that if I would be given a chance to bring him to Dubai, for being a good conversationalist with  his witty and intelligent arguments, I said, I would chop him part by part and put him on my luggage. And he just smiled there.  He nodded, and said that I can do so if I really want to. That was meant for a joke.

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